Washington was well represented on the MLB Top 100 Players
Over the past week, MLB Network has been releasing their “Top 100 players Right Now”, with numbers 10-1 being released last night. Four Nationals made the top 100 list, one less than the year before. At first glance, the Nationals injury-stricken 2020 season played a major part in their rankings. Patrick Corbin who was number 48 in 2020 was left off completely, which is understandable after his disappointing 2020 campaign. Newly acquired Josh Bell also appeared on the list in 2020, at number 70 overall. Similar to Corbin, Bell’s inconsistent 2020 season saw him slip completely off the list.
The first Nat to land on the list is Stephen Strasburg at 60. Strasburg only made two starts in 2020, before undergoing season-ending surgery for Carpal Tunnel. In those two starts, Strasburg was obviously bothered by his injury, posting a 10.80 ERA in only five innings. Back and fully healthy, Strasburg’s fall down the list is somewhat surprising. After all, when he was last fully healthy, he posted a career year that ended with him being named World Series MVP.
2020 saw Max Scherzer battle a hamstring injury, which led to his down year. However, a down year for Scherzer is a career year for many others. He still managed to go 5-4, with a 3.74 ERA, 92 strikeouts, and a 3.46 FIP. The veteran finds himself number 28 on the list, down 14 spots from the year prior.
After showing glimpses in the past, Trea Turner finally put it all together in 2020, hitting .335, with 12 homers, 41 RBIs, and an OPS of .982. His career year skyrocketed him to number 26, jumping up 50 spots from the year before. Turner teamed up with Soto to form one of the most dangerous combos in baseball. Defensively, Turner took a step back, but instead, he was finally able to hit for both power and average. While five shortstops still finished ahead of the speedster, Turner was able to earn some of the respect he deserves.
After not having a single player make the top 10 in 2020, Washington’s Juan Soto made another impressive leap. A year after finishing number 11, Soto finished at five. After missing the beginning of the 2020 season due to a positive COVID test, Soto went on to win the NL batting title, hitting .351, with 13 homers, 37 RBIs, and an OPS of 1.185. He led all of baseball in wRC+, OBP, SLG, and OPS. Most impressively, “The Chosen Juan” found himself rated higher than his rivals, Ronald Acuna Jr. and Fernando Tatis Jr., who were numbers seven and six respectively.
Rounding out the top five is Atlanta’s Freddie Freeman, New York’s Jacob deGrom, the Dodger’s Mookie Betts, and the Angel’s Mike Trout.